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Post by Dan @ 02:02am 08/02/14 | 53 Comments
Bethesda is kicking its open beta for The Elder Scrolls Online into a higher gear tomorrow, having invited scores more Internet citizens to help stress test the servers of its debut MMO. Some of the video game press have had access for a while, and we now have permission to tell you about it.

As a fan of the conventional Elder Scrolls games, I shared the concerns of the detractors. The freedom afforded in Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim had invited me to spend countless hours exploring their lands and absorbing their lore, but adding multiplayer neccessitates a whole lot of constraints and an MMO even more so.

It's from that perspective that I've shared my own thoughts on the early levels of The Elder Scrolls Online, and you can read all about it in this first impressions hands-on preview.





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Latest Comments
HurricaneJim
Posted 10:14pm 08/2/14
Well obviously you've never played it.

15 minute loggins
Buggy quests where you can't interact when you say goodbye requiring Alt F4 to get out.
Graphics at Age of Conan standard
unusual keybinds which are illogical

Anyone who pays money for this is well brain dead.
Dark Might
Posted 11:35pm 08/2/14
Disagree with the above comment.

I've had a very positive experience so far. Logins have been instant, not a single 'buggy' quest. If you can't finish talking with an NPC, simply type /reloadui.
Graphics are good, not amazing.

Keybinds are fine.

The guy above is braindead and/or just dumb.
carson
Posted 11:39pm 08/2/14
It looks pretty average. I don't expect this one to be a huge success. I give it <1 year before it becomes FTP.
ravn0s
Posted 11:49pm 08/2/14
unusual keybinds which are illogical


pro: allows you to change keybindings
Khel
Posted 12:07am 09/2/14
I've had a fair few crashes and login issues, but I've got no problem with the UI. Apart from being a bit consolified, its quite snappy and responsive compared to the typical MMO UI, plus it looks like its expandable with addons, so hopefully things that are sorely missing like proper nameplates can be added in.
adenbrazza
Posted 04:37am 09/2/14
I'm currently killing time while I'm waiting to log in to the game, it has been 15 minutes or so now. This is the point of a stress test, and when I'm ingame I hardly ever notice the lag.

The biggest bug I've had so far are the NPC interactions freezing up, which can be easily fixed with /reloadui thank god. I've also had the Prophet spawn underwater where I couldn't speak to him and so I failed the quest, nothing major.

So far I'm really enjoying the game mainly due to the crafting system, which is almost identical to Skyrim. The quests are not really boring but not quite enough to have me praise them. The biggest disappointment though is this really dull combat, I hope they spice it up soon.

I can't see the release being too different from what I'm seeing now, but if this is what we're going to get after buying the game then having to pay a monthly subscription then I expect it to go free to play quite soon. It's in Closed Beta at the moment after all.
Tanaka Khan
Posted 07:14am 09/2/14
I'm enjoying it. Yes I've run into a number of hassles...Bugged quests, can't zone out of dungeons even after timing out and logging several times and constant dick heads thinking that because they ordered the Imperial Edition they should be given a horse in the beta!!!
But I accept it's the Beta, and shit will go wrong. Now if it was like this on the official release, THEN i'll be bitching!
Gloth
Posted 08:40am 09/2/14
Not enjoying it, visually sub par, main quest is interesting but sub quests put me to sleep (not joking even slightly) Melee combat is pretty clunky despite the satisfying sound effects, skill tree and development is encouraging though the skills themselves don't seem well thought out or make a lot of sence. Long load times of greater than 5 mins between zones is a real killer for the desire to keep playing. The major gripe i have though, multiplayer integration is borderline non existent. As it stands considering the pricing system, won't be getting my money.
Keato
Posted 08:59am 09/2/14
As a long term MMO'er I am unsure if what I have seen so far warrants my $90 + $15 a month. The environment graphics are brilliant, but the characters lack personality. Many games have the same low animation models but manage to give more feel for your character, but my character (Level 9 Briton Templar - Staff Healer) lacks a connection.

Gameplay is standard, and I mean standard, nothing new to see here folks. I struggle as a full heal spec to solo, but that's expected.

Quests have been good, some better than others.

The person above who used Age of Conan reference was spot on, that's how I felt, AOC was out of the gates a great game to be dead in 4 months.

I will reserve judgement just now, I will get 10, do some of the PVP and then decide.

@Keato23
WirlWind
Posted 12:36pm 09/2/14
Was uninstalling after 5 minutes in the tutorial.

Movement felt worse than Skyrim (somehow) and I couldn't handle the latency on actions. It started out ok, but started getting worse until it was blatantly obvious during the shooting shit with bows part of the tutorial.

If I want to play skyrim, I'll go play skyrim. If I want a social experience while playing skyrim, I'll skype my brother.
Denthor
Posted 02:44pm 09/2/14
If I want to play skyrim, I'll go play skyrim. If I want a social experience while playing skyrim, I'll skype my brother.


Thats what i don't understand, why didn't they put all these resources into a co-op skyrim/fallout. I know it's a different team but still they could have used bethesda's existing experience and put out something quite unique. Something like dead island but with more polish and pizaz.

Instead we get an extremely generic MMO which adds nothing to the genre - and i mean absolutely nothing. Combat feels off. It's probably latency based. It's reactive combat - much like gw2. So the importance of decent latency is high and of course we get screwed in that department.

All in all there is no way im spending $90 then a further $15 a month for this.
groganus
Posted 03:33pm 09/2/14
Thats what i don't understand, why didn't they put all these resources into a co-op skyrim/fallout.


Elder Scrolls Online should of been somewhere between dayz and GTA online.
HurricaneJim
Posted 04:14pm 09/2/14
The person above who used Age of Conan reference was spot on, that's how I felt, AOC was out of the gates a great game to be dead in 4 months.



At least AoC had boobies....
Khel
Posted 04:34pm 09/2/14
All in all there is no way im spending $90 then a further $15 a month for this.


I think thats the core of it for me, I'm actually enjoying it enough that if it was a once-off purchase like GW2, I'd buy it. But I don't think I could justify paying a sub for it as well, especially since its not something I'd be spending heaps of time on, I'd just be playing it casually so it'd take me months to probably get through all the content and hit the level cap, and I don't want to stay subbed for that long.
deadlyf
Posted 04:53pm 09/2/14
Yeah same, I don't mind the game world but this fails as an MMO and I wouldn't be willing to pay a monthly sub for what is essentially only good as a single player game. I haven't seen any PvP or end game content to really make that call but I'm far from convinced that it could be worth it regardless. The game just doesn't feel accessible from a MMO point of view, there isn't even a mini-map or ability to see where shops and crafting areas are, I haven't seen a bank or auction house yet.

There are just way too many basic MMO features that seem to be missing from this and being Bethesda I'm not expecting any improvement before the game gets released. After all being a beta you expect them to be polishing off existing bugs rather than adding new features before release and there seems to be a fair few bugs to be fixed.
ravn0s
Posted 05:00pm 09/2/14

I think thats the core of it for me, I'm actually enjoying it enough that if it was a once-off purchase like GW2, I'd buy it.


same here
WirlWind
Posted 05:00pm 09/2/14
Dude, Grog, that'd be awesome! Imagine skyrim but with full PvP and the ability to loot other players lol.

Add in that "frostbite" mod and the ability to need to eat plus a 100 person server and then I think I'd be never seen again (I'd be stuck in my cabin playing it).
DK
Posted 06:11pm 09/2/14
So many disappointing reviews come in. I can't play cause I'm away from the pc. Now I am really thinking about not buying this straight out of the gate. I heard its like playing a retarded Skyrim. Just no magic to it.

I heard it's missing that sense of exploration and freedom and randomness that is ES. Ie doing a quest and some dude asks you about joining the vampire guild and 3 hours later you completely forget about the lastqquest line you were on. You see a tower and go to see what's in there just because
Eorl
Posted 07:09pm 09/2/14
I have felt that DK while running around the world, but with the way its blended the typical MMO stereotype with the Elder Scrolls background it may not appeal to certain fans. So far I've been enjoying myself, but as others have pointed out if Zenimax had of opted for buy-to-play like Guild Wars 2 it would have been an even better success. I'm just a sucker for collector's editions :S
ravn0s
Posted 07:03pm 09/2/14
the game definitely improves after the starter area, but it's still not good enough for $15 a month.
Tanaka Khan
Posted 10:55pm 09/2/14
Well after making a wood elf, I decided to make a dark elf and spent about an hour or two just running around the first island (after the starting area) and for me it did have that Skyrim feel to it, but just not as large.

I just hope people remember that this is just the Beta...not everything in the game is being shown, just don't condemn the game on the few hours you've gotten to play of the BETA!!!

I've enjoyed what I've seen, and I'm happy that I've purchased the Imperial Edition. I won't be playing the Beta anymore as I'd rather not spoil it for myself anymore by exploring and such, then having my characters deleted before release. Now all I have to do is wait 7 weeks...
Nerf Stormborn
Posted 11:24pm 09/2/14
^ Isn't it released in like a month?
Tanaka Khan
Posted 11:29pm 09/2/14
4th April
Ickus
Posted 01:44am 10/2/14
The whole worth a buy price but not the monthly charge is about where I sit to. It did feel very much I was go there, do this, go there, do this, go there, do this... no randomness or spontaneity that I could see, no sense of finding something I could of missed.

I only got up to lvl 9 on a DK.

It definitely lacks polish but that isn't unexpected given it is still in beta for almost two months.

I liked the way they have done the crafting.
Zapo
Posted 08:33am 10/2/14
It's funny, a bunch of us were talking about this last night and most of us were of the opinion that they would pay for the box, but it's not worth the monthly fee.

Then we started talking about Guild Wars 2 and now we're all going back to play that game again. After playing some ESO and going back to GW2, the combat just feels so much more fluid. I'll be interested to see how long it retains a monthly fee for.
Protius
Posted 09:01am 10/2/14
It's funny, a bunch of us were talking about this last night and most of us were of the opinion that they would pay for the box, but it's not worth the monthly fee.

Then we started talking about Guild Wars 2 and now we're all going back to play that game again. After playing some ESO and going back to GW2, the combat just feels so much more fluid. I'll be interested to see how long it retains a monthly fee for.
cJay
Posted 09:23am 10/2/14
How long until they restrict access to the stress test? I'm just trying to determine it's even worth playing considering it's a 20gb DL.
mental
Posted 11:07am 10/2/14
I had a heap of fun, no lag or long loading times, graphics were good, first little bit was a little meh quest wise, but after the first island it opened up and the world felt huge again.
Khel
Posted 11:43am 10/2/14
I heard it runs till Monday 10am US time, which is probably something like 4am tuesday morning here

I'm actually pretty torn, I enjoyed it enough that I want to play more, and I like that the main story is about Daedra and Oblivion cos I always liked that stuff, and despite the combat's clunkyness I find myself enjoying my sword and board dragonknight. Also really liking the crafting, and while its not quite as open world as something like Skyrim I'm finding its still open enough to give me that "Ooooo some new location just popped up on my compass, I'm gonna go see what that is and forget whatever it was I was doing" experience that I always seem to fall for in ES games.

At the same time though, its pretty lacking in ways. The lack of feedback to the player about whats actually going on during combat (or as previously mentioned, what you looted when you're autolooting) is really annoying me. And without things like vendors and banks being marked on the map in any way it can be really confusing to find the stuff you want in towns. I'm also not a fan of the fast travelling everywhere, makes the world feel very disjointed and not one contiguous whole world. And theres some really dumb design decisions with the skills, like crafting skills sharing the same skill points pool as skills that will make my character better and stronger. I mean, I want that blacksmithing skill that makes finding ore easier, but why would I spend a skill point on that, at the expense of character power? The food and potions and various buff items seem almost useless as well, they give such insignificant benefits that I just vend them all now.
Keato
Posted 11:31am 10/2/14
Ok, 10, PVP is just as bad.. I am done, such a disappointment.

After being out of pay to play MMO's for 18 months (Playing GW2) I decided to give WoW a go again. I will give it a try for a month and check out Panda expansion.
ravn0s
Posted 11:31am 10/2/14
no randomness or spontaneity that I could see, no sense of finding something I could of missed.


i found quite a few quests i normally wouldn't have if i hadn't gone exploring. i also found a hidden crafting area that allowed you to craft armour sets with special bonuses on them.
demon
Posted 12:03pm 10/2/14
i was playing co-op with dethon, about halfway thru the island quests (about lvl5) & got bored & quit while dethon played on. when i rejoined the next night our quests were so out of sync that it was kinda pointless to stick together & it was like playing single player in a mmo.. dumb. we tried grouping, guilding, friends... whatever... you gotta do the pve as if you are solo it seems?

i am gunna stick with it as i don't have any other co-op games to play atm.. but it's kinda disappointing the co-op stuff is almost non-existent. but it is beta & i am an mmo noob that never rtfm'd so it might get better.
Eorl
Posted 12:04pm 10/2/14
And theres some really dumb design decisions with the skills, like crafting skills sharing the same skill points pool as skills that will make my character better and stronger. I mean, I want that blacksmithing skill that makes finding ore easier, but why would I spend a skill point on that, at the expense of character power? The food and potions and various buff items seem almost useless as well, they give such insignificant benefits that I just vend them all now.
You'll find yourself overwhelmed with skill points as time goes by, especially with the shards littered around the world that offer a skill point for each three found. Trust me, I'm level 20 now and have at least four skills spent in crafting without it even affecting my character's ability to perform in combat.

I'll have my impressions up later in the week, but I do share some of the complaints mentioned in here. I do agree that the world opens up exponentially after the initial tutorial run around, but it does still feel like an MMO that has used TES lore. This isn't a bad choice, exactly the opposite in that it keeps my attention because of its setting, however it does strip away some of the more single-player positives in favour of MMO features.

I definitely agree with having no subscription and just going boxed price, just look at Guild Wars 2 and how it was able to sell millions all while making the player not feel like they have to continually log in to get the most out of the game. I doubt they will change their subscription system this close to release, but it would have been interesting to see the fan reaction if it didn't include a subscription cost.
greazy
Posted 12:28pm 10/2/14
Because in a year you would have spent double the box price on the subscription.
koopz
Posted 07:41pm 10/2/14
cheers lads - won't waste my money and time on it
arkter
Posted 11:35am 11/2/14
ITT people treat a BETA as a demo.
Khel
Posted 11:40am 11/2/14
I'm not going to hold bugs against them in a beta, especially since theres some indication we were playing an old build so a lot of that is possibly already fixed. But the fundamental mechanics of the combat, questing, crafting, etc aren't going to change now that its Beta. It will just be bug fixing and little tweaks and balancing from here on out, so its fair to make judgements on those aspects of the game.

Also, holy crap, people selling their Imperial Edition preorders on ebay for like $550. Who would honestly pay that?!?
Eorl
Posted 12:27pm 11/2/14
Looks like I should sell my Imperial Edition then.
Hogfather
Posted 12:47pm 11/2/14
I doubt they will change their subscription system this close to release, but it would have been interesting to see the fan reaction if it didn't include a subscription cost.
I may have bought it if there was no sub. I just found myself wishing they'd used all this effort to create a new ES single player game.

So anyway after ESO I got the bug and logged into Skyrim. Quested and actually played for about five minutes ... and then like every time I load that game it turned into a murder-the-citizens simulator for a half hour until I logged after eventually agroing a bunch of un-murderable NPCs and getting bored knocking them down over and over. I was so disappointed when I realised I couldn't assassinate random people in ESO.

There may be something wrong with me.
Eorl
Posted 01:44pm 11/2/14
There may be something wrong with me.
Heh, I haven't even finished the main storyline for Skyrim, should probably get around to doing that with my 100+ hours invested in the game. I just get distracted and go wander off visiting new places :S Also ESO was developed by Zenimax Online, completely separate to the single-player series developers, so expect something more from them.
Tanaka Khan
Posted 02:00pm 11/2/14
I'm looking at one on ebay for $1000
Nerf Stormborn
Posted 02:09pm 11/2/14
Heh, I haven't even finished the main storyline for Skyrim, should probably get around to doing that with my 100+ hours invested in the game. I just get distracted and go wander off visiting new places :S Also ESO was developed by Zenimax Online, completely separate to the single-player series developers, so expect something more from them.

The two expansion stories were actually really good, and the thieves guild & dark brotherhood were both decent as well, plus a few non-factional quests hidden around the place (daedra etc).

The actual main story quest and the companions were pretty piss poor, and I feel bad for all the people who probably only played those.
RuleofBooKz
Posted 02:13pm 11/2/14
i should go back and play those 2 expansions but i heard that they were not so good for really high level characters but were designed for characters of around level 15.
Nerf Stormborn
Posted 04:58pm 11/2/14
I played them at really high level, stuff still scales somewhat like oblivion, and otherwise you may just have an easier time, but TES has never really been about the combat difficulty anyway, more about the adventure?
Ha
Posted 05:01pm 11/2/14
i am angry that my friend's experience with the stress test was taken down and referred to as 'stupid dribble'. i guess some people's experiences are just better than others' *sighs audibly*
Gloth
Posted 05:21pm 11/2/14
I also got an urge to play some GW2 .. damn that game is pretty, has fun combat and well thought out grouping mechanics .. why did i stop playing this game?
Everlong
Posted 09:19pm 17/2/14
Heh like others ITT, it's not worth box price and sub, one or the other would be fine.
Enska
Posted 11:19pm 17/2/14
It looks like shit. I see Swtor all over again. I hold out hope for Wildstar or I can't see myself bothering with the mindless bullshit that WoW has already done numerous times before any of them.

15 minute loggins
Buggy quests where you can't interact when you say goodbye requiring Alt F4 to get out.
Graphics at Age of Conan standard
unusual keybinds which are illogical

Anyone who pays money for this is well brain dead.


Haha, I actually agree with the cranky old cunt for once.

ITT people treat a BETA as a demo.


in your post (IYP!), a goose who thinks a beta at this stage is going to change the basic shit they got wrong.

sorry for the edits and quotes. but seriously, I was pretty insulted by this waste of time.
Thorn
Posted 01:20pm 21/2/14
Well this is great, guess I should cancel my Pre-order then? :( I have been a huge fan of TES since Arena in 94 and have put Thousands of hours into the series, so when I heard that Bethesda were bringing out an MMO I thaught "Wow this is a perfect mix of some of my favourite genres" and immediately went out and pre-ordered it. I too was worried too about the Monthly Subscription with money being tight atm.

Since the Beta has been released all I heard is negative comments and remarks which has me wondering whether I should invest money into this game at all and just stick to my trusty old SP TES games instead :( This all combined with the lag from being from Australia and I am not sure whether I should bother?

Really dissapointed, this was going to be an auto-buy :(
tHeBoRg
Posted 01:03am 24/2/14
A post on reddit implies that in the latest beta build of the elder scrolls online they have added enemy collision detection at least in the PVE side of things...no word if it will be applied to players as yet.

http://www.reddit.com/r/elderscrollsonline/comments/1ynivl/enemy_collision_detection_in_latest_closed_beta/

ph33x
Posted 03:58pm 24/2/14
I'm not going to hold bugs against them in a beta, especially since theres some indication we were playing an old build so a lot of that is possibly already fixed.

After BF4 I've come to be the kind of person who wants to see it running properly before launch.

Eg: If BF5's beta has issues that I won't like in vanilla, I'll wait for someone independent to tell me that is has been fixed before I touch it.

All these greenlight/earlyaccess/beta/alpha/prealpha crap, over most of it. Completed game = money from me.
ravn0s
Posted 10:36pm 25/2/14
A post on reddit implies that in the latest beta build of the elder scrolls online they have added enemy collision detection at least in the PVE side of things...no word if it will be applied to players as yet.


i've heard they won't be adding it for PvP.

another big change is that when you break out of coldharbour you wake up in the first major city for your alliance. you no longer have to go through the tutorial starter area for the first 5 levels.

oh and it looks like there's going to be another beta soon.

last edited by ravn0s at 22:36:09 25/Feb/14
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